Bert and Shirley Vedder are this month’s volunteers of the month. Courtesy Photo

RUSSELL – The Russell Agricultural Society (RAS) has come up with a nice way to recognize the amazing people in their community who make a difference. The society has created a Volunteer of the Month Program in order to recognize those who go that extra mile in making the Russell community that much better.

The Russell Agricultural Society is pleased to recognize Bert and Shirley Vedder as the January 2023 Volunteers of the Month! It was an extremely tough decision when selecting their first recipient, which is why they decided to acknowledge not one but both great people.

This amazing duo has over 42 years involved with RAS. Bert started out as a part-time volunteer raking sand in the horse ring; this led to many roles within RAS to include a total of three years as the board’s president. With Bert, comes Shirley who started out volunteering with the Education Committee. Both Bert and Shirley’s roles rapidly expanded, and they became staples on the fairgrounds, always helping out. More recently, Bert and Shirley are known for their generous hospitality while hosting the Russell Agricultural Society’s Volunteer Appreciation Day.

When asked about their experiences, both expressed fond memories over meeting or greeting new people, especially those from other communities. Bert especially enjoyed dealing with folks to make a successful fair, while Shirley reflected on her years of photographing the fair. Both talk about their volunteer experience with great pride; they saw volunteering as a way to connect and get to know other people from within Russell and surrounding areas.

We are so thankful for all Bert and Shirley do for our community. As a recipient of the Volunteer of the Month, both Bert and Shirley will receive a weekend pass to the 2023 Russell Fair.

Do you know someone who goes above and beyond to help? Send your recommendations to